Quadricep Exercises

Why should you train your quadriceps?

The quadriceps femoris, or quads, are one of the body’s main powerhouses. They are the large, powerful muscles that make up the outer and frontal parts of the thighs. Largely, they are responsible for straightening the knees, and well-developed quads are also sought after for aesthetic reasons – the form the teardrop thigh shape going into the kneecap. Read on to find GymNation's best quad workouts!

The quads are made up of:

  • the vastus lateralis
  • the vastus medialis
  • the vastus intermedius
  • the rectus femoris

The rectus femoris inserts on to your hip bone, but it also partially covers your vastus muscles. The vastus muscles originate on the femur – the thigh bone – and attach to your kneecap. All four of these muscles help your knee joint to extend – thus, they aid in straightening the leg. The rectus femoris is also a hip flexor.

Because of their role in straightening the knees, quads play a vital role in many daily activities, as well as in many athletic movements. Every time you sit down or stand up, you’re using them – every time you need to bend and straighten your leg, every single time, you are using them.

Though the hamstrings and glutes are generally far more powerful than the quads, the quads also play a key role in all lower body movements – squats, leg presses, lunges, even deadlifts. They are also there in sprinting, running and jumping.

Training legs hard is simple enough. Heavy compound movements will see you right. As long as you’re squatting, deadlifting, pressing and lunging through a range of resistances on a regular basis, or sprinting and/or running often, you will be developing your leg muscles.

Specifically working the quads can be a challenge, however. Much of the pressure is often taken up by the glutes and hamstrings, leaving the quads out of it. However, if you can bring more knee-dominant moves into your training regime alongside those large, full leg movements, you can bring about some good development. Things like single leg presses, walking lunges, or even simply bringing some mindfulness into the knee extension over the leg press portion of a movement can make all the difference. Search for "Gyms in the UAE" and put your fitness first!

 

Quadricep Exercises 

Squats

Squats are a powerhouse movement for the full body, and are just about the best, most efficient way to build up your legs, including the quads and glutes. As heavy compounds, they have direct carryover into everyday life, as well as into most athletic endeavours.

Anybody looking to get big and strong should include squats in their regular lifting routines.

Main muscles used:

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Core
  • Hip flexors

Leg extensions

Leg extensions are great isolation movements that bring in all the full range of quads, using them in one of their primary functions – straightening the knee. Though they don’t have so much practical, athletic carry over, they are perfect for quickly building mass as an accessory and/or finisher exercise at the end of a larger lower body workout.

Main muscles used:

  • Quads

Lunges

Lunges are much like the squat in that they are a powerhouse movement for the full body. They are a great exercise to use in building up the legs, including the quads and glutes. As heavy compounds, they have direct carryover into everyday life, and as unilateral movements, they are perfect for maintaining symmetry of both power output and musculature.

Main muscles used:

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back
  • Core
  • Hip flexors

The quads are incredibly powerful muscles involved in lower body movement and power generation. In essence, they are used to straighten the knee – every time you straighten your knee, no matter the load, they are being engaged. This makes them prime movers in exercises like squats and lunges and ensures a crucial role in any kind of running or jumping.

Alelei Vargas
Personal Trainer, GymNation Mirdif

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